Bulgarian PM to Resign if MPs Don't Pass Illegal Assets Law

Politics » DOMESTIC | March 25, 2012, Sunday // 18:53
Bulgaria: Bulgarian PM to Resign if MPs Don't Pass Illegal Assets Law BGNES

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov said he will immediately file the resignation of his cabinet if the Bulgarian Parliament does not pass a controversial law on forfeiture of assets with unclarified origin.

"If that law is not passed in the way we agreed with European Commission Presiden Jose Manuel Barroso, I will resign the very next day. My MPs know that," said Borisov in an interview for TV7.

The long-delayed and much-changed bill is expected to be voted on second reading by the Bulgarian Parliament before Easter, or mid-April.

Bulgarian authorities are likely to acquire the right to launch probes and seize - following an indictment - unexplained wealth, worth more than BGN 250,000 which has been acquired over the last 10 years under the draft law.

It sets out a regime for non-conviction based asset forfeiture, but the procedure will be launched only if the person is indicted with terrorism, participation in an organized criminal group, kidnapping, enticement to prostitution, human trafficking, theft, robbery, embezzlement, unprofitable deal drugs and tax evasion.

The opposition has slammed the amendments, saying that they create conditions for persecution and repression of political opponents, while making untouchable the white color criminals who piled up their wealth through privatization deals and administrative crimes.

The majority in Bulgaria's parliament surprisingly failed to pass through the keenly expected bill in July last year, triggering fierce criticism in the EU and US, as well as suspicions of a set-up.

The draft law, initiated by Bulgaria's former Justice Minister and current Vice President Margarita Popova and widely touted by the ruling party as a powerful tool in crime and corruption combat, initially envisaged that the commission will have the right to launch investigations into incomes and acquisitions for the last 15 years and seize assets without conviction.

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Tags: Bulgarian Parliament, Boyko Borisov, Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission, Margarita Popova, EU, US, confiscation
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